Waking up at Mweka camp, Catherine and I took some time to explore our
surroundings, as we had arrived after dark. It was cold enough for us to
wear our thick jackets. Morning dew hung on the tall bushes and trees around
us. When we looked back at Kibo, from which we last came, we could see
that there was more ice on the mountain than the day before. We considered
ourselves fortunate; we could have been climbing over that ice had it come
a day sooner.
Down the Mweka route we went, encountering thicker flora and moister air.
Portions of the Mweka route were very nicely paved with black asphalt,
not unlike popular trails at the better-funded national parks in the U.
S., apparently part of an park-improvement plan for this most-commonly
traversed trail on Kili.
It wasn't long
before the paved trail gave way to the much wetter environment of
the rainforest. The ground was muddy, enough to be quite slippery
at times, and the forest was thick with tall trees serving as a canopy
for the plants and animals residing here. We could hear streams all
around us and crossed a few with bridges. The air was thick with
humidity. Some of the climbers encountered a few Colobus monkeys.
Our group saw them before, and we had a better view back at Londorossi,
so we moved on, eager to return.
"You stink!" "I
The muddy trail and rainforest opened up to a more populated area, and
finally the Mweka gate, full of tourists and vehicles, with our driver
waiting with his Range Rover. We were tired, our knees were shot from slamming
our feet in the descent, and we were very stinky with all the moisture
activating our pores, but we can say we made it through. We checked out
of the gate, and headed back to Klub Afriko's facilities in Arusha to shower,
rest, relax, recuperate, and dine on the local cuisine.
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